Fox has been making X-Men movies since 2000, largely helmed by Bryan Singer and closely followed by James Mangold who has directed both The Wolverine and Logan. As one of the longest-running superhero film properties of all time there is a lot of pressure on it to not only produce a good movie, but be looking to the future of how it will continue to develop.
With their latest installment about to arrive – and the third Wolverine solo movie on top of that – there are many questions that have arisen about not only the future of the franchise, but the future of Hugh Jackman’s character as well. These topics are discussed in a new video Screen Rant produced in partnership with Regal Cinemas, which you can watch above.
First, of course, is the question of whether or not Hugh Jackman will move forward in the role. He mentioned in a recent interview that he would be interested in continuing to play James Howlett a.k.a Wolverine if he and the rest of the X-Men were integrated into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but that unfortunately is not the case. Since he is going to leave, Fox is faced with the difficult question of whether or not to recast the part with any number of suitors who are circling. It’s also possible that X-23, played by Dafne Keen, could take on the mantle, as long as time travel is involved (since she’s only a child in Logan).
Logan will be Hugh Jackman’s ninth time playing Wolverine and he is joined by Patrick Stewart reprising his role as Professor Charles Xavier for the seventh time. Both actors worked together on those same seven movies. The key difference this time is Logan is R-rated. Given the success of Deadpool and with Logan poised to be a hit as well, this could lead other studios to dip their toes into darker, more intense storytelling, which has the potential to shift the entire genre.
The success or failure of Logan will play a key role in shaping what future X-Men films are going to be. If the movie is as wildly successful as early reviews seem to suggest, then there is a sense the franchise will be entering a renaissance and may again enjoy the popularity it saw in the early 2000s. If it is possible to come out as a real competitor for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, then Fox will find itself in a powerful position indeed. Not to mention the moviegoing public, who will have more amazing Marvel Comics-inspired movies than ever before.
Conversely, if Fox – and any other studio – learns nothing from Logan, then the X-Men movies could start down a path that sees the series fizzle out for a while, especially if the mixed reception to X-Men: Apocalypse was no fluke. X-Men is starting to move into the realm of television, with Legion on FX and the Fox X-Men show now actively casting. That could be a way to keep the property strong for years to come.